Movies From the Black Lagoon: The Rage

Movies From the Black Lagoon
The Rage - 2008,Unrated

A mad scientist unleashes a rage virus, which then proceeds to spread to vultures and other wild life in this gory thriller that is short on likable characters but makes up for that by staging their gruesome demises in a plethora of creative ways.
It begins on a high note with the camera settling on the remote lab of a mad Russian scientist. He is in the midst of injecting his rage virus (more on why later) into a helpless couple that has wandered into his sights while assorted failures observed from a locked cage. The experiment doesn't go well and one subject escapes and is suitably angry (Wouldn't that make it a success?) and beats on the scientist like he burned his breakfast. He then stumbles out of the lab and kills an obnoxious English guy who has parked with a blonde lovely who can't resist his accent. After dispatching the pair in grisly fashion he burns out and drops like a stone as vultures circle overhead.
Cut to an annoying group of five young adults who are about to pay the price for their excessive partying. Meanwhile, a kindly uncle is fishing with his young niece and nephew but their bucolic activity is disrupted by mutated, and highly enraged, vultures that peck Uncle Ben and turn him into the relative from hell.
Back on the road our quintet of twenty-somethings comes to blows after discussing the previous night's activities and their brawl distracts the driver who doesn't spot Uncle Ben till he slams against their hood. This development also wrecks their ride but things only get worse when the vultures attack. Sadly the only remotely likable character gets it first but there is plenty of terror to go around-especially when the group seeks shelter in a barn which turns out to be, you guessed it, the mad Russian's lab. Before you can say "they mocked me in Moscow" or "they laughed me out of Leningrad" this guy is spilling his guts. He explains that he developed a cure for cancer but it was usurped the new regime after the iron curtain fell. He blames capitalism and is here to teach us evil Americans a lesson. Just about everyone dies when the lab experiments attack and the vultures come home to roost.
The two reasons to see this are the great special effects and an over the top performance by Andrew Divoff (Wish Master) as the scientist. The movie sags in the middle but there is enough mayhem on-hand to smooth over the rough spots. It's only fair though to warn viewers that the film serves up a grim demise for two children, which, though not explicitly shown, is still pretty disturbing. The director cast his own children in those roles (make of that what you will) but as a parent I get a little miffed when movies stoop to hurting kids.
This one delivers very heavily cheesy dialogue department so please take your pick from the list below.
Best Lines: "I know what I'm doing, especially when I'm high."
"Be very, very quiet or there will be no beating for you tonight."
"I have an overwhelming urge to pluck out your eyes and eat them."
"Pick on someone your own size you half-pint, transvestite freak."
"Die, you evil oompa loompa."
"I had not put into consideration the unique enzymes found in the stomachs of vultures."

Tom Doty occasionally emerges from the Lagoon to check his e-mail. If you'd like to get a message to him, write to: dotyfox@pennswoods.net.